Good morning folks. As I wrapped my daytime activities, I realized what yesterday was. Honestly, I’m a bit ashamed of myself because typically I remember. It isn’t something that passes and I say, ‘oh yes, Dec 7 was last week or yesterday’. I at least remember it on Dec 7 and stop to think a little bit about what that day means. As I’m sure you all know, that is the day in history that the Japanese air forces attacked Pearl Harbor. They also attacked the airfields.
This is the USS West Virginia. The Japanese used bombs, torpedoes, and good ole bullets to cripple the US Navy and Army Air Core for several months. We all know what happened to the USS Arizona. She still rests at the bottom of the harbor and 1100 lost their lives on her. The photo credit, is the US Navy, which makes it public domain and it belongs to all of us citizens.
The attack began at 7:55am Hawaii time and lasted 110 minutes. The attack came in 2 waves, The first wave of Japanese planes struck Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. The second wave reached Pearl Harbor around 8:40 a.m. In total 3581 Americans lost their lives or were injured that day, 103 of which were civilians. The big crime of all of it of course was it was a complete surprise. Too bad they didn’t have the internet and cable news at the time. Then again, typically, the American people are the only ones who are surprised when our soil is attacked anywhere in the world. I think we are the only nation that tells others, we are coming for them, and spend months debating it in front of world media.
My intent here is to remember however, not get into a discussion of what was done, what should have been done, and who did or didn’t do what in those days. Of course, the following day, the USA officially entered World War II as congress declared War on Japan, and Germany who naturally had declared war on the USA. Un-officially, I think the USA was involved all along. Providing supplies to England all along for example. Actually I think the USA was providing supplies to the highest bidder, but mostly The Allies.
Anyway, my intent, is to remember the people. All 3581 of them even though, I’m sure I have no relation to not a single one of them. Some of you may have though. The Youngest one there would be about 89 or 90 today. Anyone born that day would be 71 now. Each year, survivors of that day, return to visit the site. until now. Some information I could find says there are 13 known survivors still remaining from the Arizona. Our human connection to the past is dying off, fast or is already gone. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting one of the WWII vets but couldn’t talk too much to him because his wife didn’t let him get a word in edgewise. I think it is a shame that we stuff our old people into homes so we don’t have to be bothered with them. Not everyone of course but enough to annoy me. I think it’s a shame that instead of listening to these people about the past we are doomed to relive at some point and in some cases, Have, are ignored.
These people and others like them gave us a great gift. Things might be a Lot different if they hadn’t kicked some ass, shot first and questioned later, and Hitler or Tojo had been able to dictate terms on the white house lawn. Other than this current set of conflicts we are in, I cannot think of another, Since WWII, that our own happiness was at risk if our troops had lost the battle. Imagine what your life would be like if you weren’t able to freely speak your mind. We are headed that way folks. It seems that every day, we are told that we cannot say something or even think it because it’s offensive to some group. That to me, is a precursor to losing our freedom of speech. One of the very ideals that many of our war veterans fought to preserve. I don’t want to go too far into this tangent, my point is, we are pissing away the gift that our not so recent forefathers (and foremothers) gave us. Choice. The more choice we leave to our current crop of government to make, the more of it we give away and I think that’s the biggest crime of the American people today. Forget about what goes on in other countries, I honestly don’t care how they conduct themselves. This, is the United States. Not Canada, not Mexico, we are not part of the European, Asian, African, or Australian continents.
Now, I get pretty hot and hard headed and do a lot of barking about some things. It is when I sense my freedoms slipping away that I’m the most protective of my views. Further, I am completely dumbfounded when I see those around me willing to give away their freedoms for some perceived benefit. There is always some new government program in the works designed to keep us fat dumb and happy. They like to use the term, Government Funded, and to many that translates to a nasty four letter word. Free. Friends, nothing is free. There is always a cost and in many cases, as I see it these days, that cost, is our freedom. They would like nothing more than to keep us fat dumb and happy so we will just bury our heads in the sand and question nothing they do. That, or make it so confusing, people give up on trying to understand it. My friends, THAT, is a slap in the face and a kick in the balls to our war veterans and all others who have served.
Someone on these blogs once stated or rather demanded (yes I know who it was but I’m not naming names), “Don’t go around waiving a flag that you didn’t sacrifice anything for”. Well, with all due respect, I wave my flag because I DON’T Have to sacrifice for it. I am truly thankful to all of those who have given me that gift and I’ll waive my flag any time I damn well please, thank you very much. Over at least the last 10 plus years, I’ve heard the rhetoric, “We support our troops”. Well, Some of you or we as a nation, no you don’t. To truly support them, you tell them what needs to be done, equip them to do it, and then get the fuck out of the way so they can do it. It matters not, to me, How, they get it done. Wars are not won in the arena of public opinion, in Washington DC, or on Cable News shows with a lot of ‘expert’ talking heads. They are won by making the other side give up, standing on their throat, and demanding they say Uncle (Sam). I fear, my friends, that it is the United States that is giving up. I don’t mean our military, I mean the rest of the nation, including our government.
I guess I’m just rambling here so I’ll cut it short. All I’m asking you to do, in remembering those who were dragged into a fight they may not have wanted to have (Pearl Harbor and the resulting 4 year involvement costing the USA at least 418,500 of her people, is this. Before you give up the freedom that was so hard fought and sacrificed for, to get some benefit, think about the true cost of it. Give the government an inch, they’ll take a thousand miles.